Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Question For You: What Are Pointless Things To Buy For A New Baby?

I've been thinking about last year this week.  Specifically from February to December, when Michael was job searching, and the period of July 2011 to this February when we were surviving on...not much at all....while waiting for his new job to start.  I didn't type as much about it on this blog, but there were posts like this one and this one that referenced it. 

I think one of the reasons last year's dearth of finances has been on my mind is because I've been fighting materialism this week.  It's tempting to listen to the "because you're having a baby you need XYZ and another dose of LMNOP just in case" messages that society and our middle class/upper middle class friends tell us.  Thankfully, since we're having another boy, we are fairly prepared for November Boy with the exception of some teeny clothes, burp cloths, and socks in sizes we never needed for Million...but the siren call of the baby aisles and eBay auctions is terribly alluring.         

So in that light, I'd like you to pitch in and comment with one or more baby item that you never used or don't see the sense in buying.


  1. you know what? We didn't buy that much stuff, but I think we used all of it. Sorry, I know that's the wrong thing to say! Babies really do seem to need a stupid amount of stuff. (Having said that, we didn't have a bouncer / rocker / moses basket / bassinet and we didn't miss them). The one thing we didn't use as much as I had hoped was a Moby wrap because it made my tummy hurt. The one thing I recommend is blankets, blankets, blankets. I think we had about forty of them and we used them for all sorts of things. (I'd offer you my almost unused moby wrap, but I already gave it away!!!)

    Personally, I think that shopping for a baby (as long as it's not done TOO extravagantly) is a really nice way to nest and prepare for your new little person. I loved getting stuff ready and buying tons of baby clothes on ebay. Tiny baby clothes are crazy-cheap on the bay of evil - I didn't regret any of my late-night impulse purchases there because they were generally only one or two dollars, and we got some fabulous stuff. I know you won't be extravagant, H, and do let yourself enjoy this lovely time of preparation - this time around you get to know when the baby will be arriving, at least approximately! Make the most of it!

  2. I was a nanny for many years, so I've got a pretty sizable list of things I didn't/wouldn't buy. No fancy playmat with toys attached (though I am a fan of a good padded blanket), no exersaucer, no baby swing, nothing that takes batteries or needs to be plugged in. We do have more than one sitting apparatus because our baby has a physical birth defect that won't allow her to sit up on her own, but I'd say that for most babies, a Boppy pillow OR bouncy seat will be fine, and you don't really need both. If you are planning to breastfeed, the Boppy will be the most versatile for everything (and so easy to find one that a friend is done with or on eBay/Craigslist). We also just sold our rocker because we discovered that our desk chair rocks nicely. But maybe we were taking it a bit overboard with that one. We're kind of short on space.

    I do have a couple of recommendations for things we've used a ton. We love the Aden & Anais burpy bibs, which are burp cloth and bib in one. They're kind of pricey, but they've worked better at containing the mess of spit up, drool, and milk dribble than any other bib or burp cloth I've tried. I just kept ordering one or two when we could afford it, and we now own seven, which is plenty. We also love Robeez brand socks. They have a little band around the ankle so they don't fall off. These were a gift, so we don't have a ton, and I find that I'm disappointed when we run out of them because I know that I'll putting socks back on the baby all day.

    Anyway, I'm not sure I've commented on your blog before, but I think Million is just the cat's pajamas, and I'm so excited about your coming baby and your second adoption.

  3. Buy or register for more bottles and nipples than you'll think you'll need. (Even if you breast feed, it helps to have bottles for when grandma or dad is watching the little one while you run errands or a social outing.

    We only had one or two fancy dancy outfits for the wee one. When they were at home, they were in onesies and shorts or pants or a sleeper.

    With that said, register or buy real cheap sleepers. Sleepers are easy and keep the baby warm during the winter months.

    Socks. Socks. Socks. Socks.

    Blankets. Blankets. Blankets.

    We loved the exersaucer that we bought at a garage sale for $5. There were many times our boys bounced themselves to sleep. Other folks recommend a swing, but we didn't have one and survived.

    A good high chair that is sturdy, easy to clean and won't take up the entire kitchen is a must.

    Crib sheets and mattress covers. We often double sheeted the bed. (Mattress cover. Sheet. Matress Cover. Sheet.) If junior spit up or wet through the diaper, we simply took off the top sheet and mattress cover and put junior back to bed. Much easier than wrestling with a baby crib mattress at 4 in the blessed morning.

    We like the dishwasher insert that keeps bottles and nipples from flying willy-nilly around the dishwasher. Three bucks at Wal-Mart!


    Diaper changing stations throughout the house. We had one in our den, one in our living room and one in the nursery. Diapers, wipes (or clothes), diaper rash cream and bags to store the dirty diapers in until you can deal with them. (We used the plastic shopping bags.) Um, don't you know a guy who makes crates that can hold all this stuff?:)

    Soft baby toys that make noise. (You'd be surprised at how much a plastic rattle hurts when junior slugs you with one.)

    Pacifiers or binkies. And the little things that attach the binky to the baby.

    I love love love my grocery cart cover. I think we bought that thing new. (We no longer need ours. Let me know if you want it. I'll mail it to you. No cost.)

    In all, I think we spent only $100 bucks for all of our baby gear. Since we adopted both boys, we didn't have big baby showers. I did register for things, but not much because we weren't sure the timing, the gender or what the kid would need.